How to prepare for and do well in TMUA
I am often asked by the students I tutor, “What is the best way to prepare for TMUA?” and “How do I do well in TMUA?”. As a result, having sat TMUA myself, achieving a 9 in paper 1 and 8.4 overall, plus tutoring the entrance exam for the last few years, I decided to write the following article in hopes of helping other students who may be wondering the same thing.
1. Work through the 'Notes on Logic and Proof'
‘Notes on Logic and Proof’ is a pdf document written by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing. It introduces and works through the mathematical logic and methods of proof which you need to be comfortable with when sitting TMUA. I recommend having a pen and paper beside you as you read and work through the examples and exercises yourself. This is best done before you begin attempting Paper 2, since this knowledge of logic and proof is assumed and comes up frequently in questions.
2. Past Paper Practice
The best way to prepare for TMUA is by doing past papers.
Paper 1 should be accessible without having worked through the Notes on Logic and Proof.
When working through the past papers, I would advise to start with the oldest, such as the practice papers and the specimen papers. I would suggest not working through these under timed conditions but instead taking your time to work through the questions, getting used to the style of the multiple choice and spending a good amount of time on each question to problem-solve. That way, you concentrate on getting more correct answers over how quickly you finish the paper. Once done, mark your answers straight after and look at a worked solution for any you got wrong. Work through it step-by-step so that you thoroughly understand how to get to the answer which will enable you to improve each time you tackle a past paper.
Once you feel confident with the style of questions, then practise the remaining past papers under timed conditions. This will allow you to gauge what sort of pace you need to work at in order to have enough time to answer each question in the exam. You need to find a balance where you are not rushing, but neither are you taking too long on each question. You should find your pace of working through the questions will naturally increase with practise since you likely will feel more comfortable and confident.
You can find all TMUA Past Papers here, along with the answer sheets, answer keys and worked solutions.
Good luck with your TMUA Preparation!
If you are struggling with TMUA or if you would like to enhance your efficiency, mathematical intuition and problem-solving techniques for TMUA, I offer one-to-one TMUA Tuition. See here for more information.